Company Culture and the Daily Huddle.
Many small and medium business owners are slow to recognize that company culture is equally important in small and medium businesses, as it is in larger corporations. I published a short video on this topic a few years ago, which attracted several thousand views around the world, and I am giving access to it again here today as a reminder of the importance that business culture has on business performance. Click here to view the video – it runs to just over 3 minutes.
When a business is small and has very few employees, it is easy to have open communication channels and for daily dialogue between employees to exist. As businesses grow larger, silos can begin to form, where employees operate in clusters and information sharing tends to stay within these silos. However, the business structure does not have to be like this. Daily cross-functional huddles can break down these artificial boundaries.
So what exactly is a huddle? It is simply an informal but frequent meeting wherein all employees can be kept in the loop in relation to what is happening in the business. It introduces and reinforces the values and vision of the stakeholders and it presents an opportunity for everyone to understand the journey that the business is taking and their individual role in making the journey a positive and prosperous one. Daily huddles can take just 10 or 15 minutes per day.
Within these huddles, there is clarity around collective and individual business goals because they are shared. Everyone understands what everybody else should be doing, and any problems that occur can be discussed and resolved quickly, because all the brainpower of the group can be brought to bear on the issues at hand.
The huddle has a positive cultural impact as well. It forces openness and dialogue amongst employees and naturally prevents barriers from forming. For larger businesses, the daily huddle can be broken into executive management huddles and functional huddles, wherein the executives bring back all of the information from their top table huddle to their functional huddle, and quickly share everything of importance with their own groups.
Open communication fosters an open business culture and this creates understanding and commitment to a common set of values and goals within the business. The practice of just telling employees “what they need to know” is an old-fashioned and divisive practice that no longer serves a business, and it is thankfully becoming increasingly rare to see it practiced.
If you have any views on this topic, please share them in a comment.